Besides location , one of the most essential parts of a camping trip for many people is comfort. The level of comfort one will experience is often determined by how the campsite is set up.
Here a visual 5 step guide to setting up the perfect campsite with a textual version below. Apply these practical tips and you’ll increase the opportunity to have a safe, fun, and comfortable camping experience.
General Tips for Setting Up Campsites & Camping Equipment
- When creating a campsite, you want to make sure it’s not only comfortable, but organized as well.
- Having the right gear for the season and location of your camp is crucial.
- Know where you’re camping and what’s available. This includes bathrooms and water sources.
- Electrical outlets are not always necessary, but can impact the equipment at your disposal.
- Bring only what you need.
- Keep your equipment stored carefully to avoid holes, mold, or other damage.
The 5 Key Things to Remember for a Great Campsite Setup
1. Find the Perfect Site
- Flat land is a must to ensure proper drainage.
- Look for an area that’s free of protruding roots, rocks, and other vegetation.
- Finding flat land with nearby trees can protect your campsite from high winds while providing additional shade.
- Make sure any nearby trees are healthy, rather than dead/dying as they could become hazards in poor or extreme weather conditions.
- The higher your campsite is, the better.
2. Keep Trash at a Distance, But Water Sources Close
- Designate a place for trash (recycling and trash depending on campsite rules) to make cleanup easy throughout your outing.
- Trash should be kept at least 20 ft. from your tent and where it can’r be reached by local wildlife.
- Try to set up camp within 200 ft. of a bathroom, but no closer than that.
- Set up camp near a water source.
- If the site has water pumps, make sure it’s only a short walk away.
- If you’re back-country camping, don’t camp too far from any streams, rivers, or other sources of water.
- If obtaining your water from a natural source, pack Chlorine tablets and a water purifier to ensure clean drinking water.
3. Maximize the Usefulness of Your Tent With Proper Placement
- Bring enough tents to accommodate the number of campers.
- Consider using smaller or older tents for additional storage, for unpackaged gear or emergency shelter from inclement weather.
- It’s better to dirty an extra tent than the one you sleep in.
- Waterproof any tents with a silicone sealant or secure a tarp over each tent with stakes.
- Place tents on flat land, preferably on high ground to avoid flooding.
4. Keep an Organized and Clean Kitchen Area
- Keep your food in bags and hung out up out of reach of wildlife (particularly bears).
- Food should be kept at least 200 ft. from camp and at least 10-12 ft high.
- Whether you are cooking over a campfire or on a portable grill, cook downwind to avoid enticing animals.
- To ensure your food gets to the campsite safely, use appropriate storage containers and coolers.
- Organizing your camping pantry and kitchen makes finding what you need easy and minimizes the chance of forgetting anything back home.
5. Build a Campfire Like a Pro
- Campfires should be kept at least 15 ft. from surrounding wood and other flammable vegetation.
- When building a fire, keep wind direction and protection in mind.
- Keep a bucket of water and shovel nearby when building a fire.
- The firewood you collect should always be dead and you should never cut down whole branches or trees for firewood.
- Collect tinder, such as small twigs, dry leaves, grass, and needles.
- Sticks smaller than 1 In. around are perfect for kindling. To fuel the fir, use larger pieces of wood.
- Place a few handfuls of tinder in a lose pile at the center of the fire pit.
- For kindling, you can arrange the wood in 4 different configurations – Tepee, Lean-lo, Log Cabin, or Cross
- Once your kindling is set up over the tinder, ignite the tinder with a long lighter or match.
- Toss more tinder into the fire as it gets larger.
- Gently blowing at the base of the fire will feed it Oxygen, causing it to grow hotter.
- Once the tinder and kindling you set up catches and is burning well, you can add more kindling and larger pieces of fuel wood to keep the fire burning.